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tv   Nightline  ABC  July 16, 2014 12:37am-1:08am EDT

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, love at first sight? this bride and groom are tying the knot as total strangers. >> i couldn't even think straight. i couldn't stop crying. >> but were those tears of joy or panic? with the experts with his sxwands wives, would the honeymoon hookup be a bust? >> i wasn't sure what to expect. >> and is this controversial social experiment helping sell the end of marriage as we know it? plus, con artists. these look like the works of the masters. and art collectors shelled out tens of millions. now one painter is at the center of a spectacular scandal. his paintings fooled world-class experts. could you spot the fake? and together again. they grew up before our eyes. >> good night. >> now the cast of "the wonder
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years" reuniting for the first time in over a decade. so what's the real story behind that history-making first kiss? but first, the "nightline" five.
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good evening and thanks for
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joining us. you're about to meet a woman who's allowing experts to pick the man of her dreams and then trusting them enough to marry him on the spot. yep, they're total strangers saying no to marriage as we know it, meeting for the very first time at the altar. but what happens after they say i do? here's abc's bianna golodryga. >> reporter: it's the most important day of their young lives. >> okay. just relax. >> reporter: three nervous couples -- >> i'm scared. >> reporter: -- just moments away from walking down the aisle. >> oh, my gosh. i'm going to finally meet him. >> reporter: everything is perfect. the dresses are picked out. sham spa champagne is flowing. guests are arriving. but one thing is different from other american weddings. >> crazy. >> reporter: these brides and grooms are about to tie the knot they hope till death do they part, and this is the first time they're ever laying eyes on each
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other. that's right. six brave souls agreed to this extreme social experiment, allowing four self-proclaimed love experts -- >> they're putting one of the most important decisions into our hands. >> reporter: -- to find their perfect match for a new reality show "married at first sight." as the summer wedding season kicks into high gear, this show has already generated lots of controversy over the past week. on last week's series premiere 27-year-old jamie otis was by far the most nervous of the brides and grooms-to-be. >> i'm scared. sorry. >> you're beautiful. >> thank you. >> you have a great job. you're educated. what do you say to the viewer at home who says why does she of all people need to go through a process like this to find a man? >> i have like huge trust issues. i'm a commitment-phobe. so for me to go on this and to give this a shot, it was really a chance to have experts there kind of like guiding me, maybe
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how some people would have their parents guide them. >> reporter: as jamie walks down the aisle and sees 31-year-old doug for the first time, she begins to cry uncontrollably. >> can you talk about that moment when you first saw him? >> i was like, what am i doing? and you know, it's obvious now that i wasn't initially attracted to him. but honesthonestly, i couldn't think straight. i couldn't stop crying. most women their wedding day is probably the best day of their life. but my wedding day was probably the worst day of my life. >> reporter: doug on the other hand beams at the sight of his beautiful but visibly tearful bride. >> i couldn't have been happier seeing someone that was just absolutely gorgeous. >> reporter: as excited as you were when she saw you, it wasn't reciprocated on her part. >> sure. >> reporter: but when you watch the footage, how did that make you feel? >> when i first saw her crying and how scared she was, it was almost comforting in a way because she was taking it serious and it was a real moment. it was right there. it was tough to kind of ignore
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the fact that you're getting legally married to a stranger. >> i offer you my heart and soul. >> i offer you my heart and soul. >> reporter: all six strangers ended up saying i do. and the subsequent wedding receptions are understandably awkward. >> we did it. >> yay. >> i was -- i moved in with my parents. i've been living at my parents'. >> oh, really? >> it's awkward a little bit because we're both strangers, we didn't know each other before, now we're married. >> what do you do? >> i'll be a firefighter in a couple months. >> i don't really know you. >> he's a bit touchy. which is nice. you know, but like not really. >> reporter: and as for the traditionally romantic wedding night -- >> i'm not kissing you. >> act like i love you. >> reporter: let's just say physical intimacy is kept at a minimum. >> talk about that night. >> i wasn't sure what to expect because i had never really been alone without anybody else. like i almost was like stay, for the camera guys, stay because i don't want to be alone with him. >> the white of her knuckles is showing through this bouquet.
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>> reporter: for the following four weeks the couples live together day in and day out. doug moves into jamie's manhattan apartment. they get to know each other, hoping to eventually fall in love. >> if you could plan a really romantic date, what would you do? >> breakfast in bed. >> that's it? >> reporter: and yes, there is a prenup. >> we asked each other how much we made and how much debt we were in. i think that was within the first half hour of meeting each other. when i say it was backwards, it was backwards. >> walk me through what a typical day with a stranger who's now your wife is like. >> it is ridiculously mind-boggling. it's like every single time it's like a first date with this person. >> reporter: at the end of the month they'll make the final decision. will they or won't they? >> do you want to stay married? or do you want to get a divorce? >> reporter: relationship guru logan levkov is one of the four experts on the show. >> it is a responsibility that we didn't take lightly.
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we knew going into this that doug wasn't necessarily the typical look that jamie went for. but jamie also talked about the importance of personality. if she could get past that initial reaction, then it could be really special. >> reporter: she defends the show's premise. >> i offer you my heart and soul. >> i understand why people are going to make assumptions about this particular show, because we live in this world where reality tv has been exploitative. it is our job and our responsibility to change your mind, and i really do believe we're going to do that. >> reporter: strangely enough, this isn't jamie's first foray into the realm of reality show romance. >> yes. >> reporter: az contestant on "the bachelor" two years ago this cringe-worthy kiss with bachelor ben was one for the record books. >> there's like an instruction guide. i can't -- i can't handle this. >> reporter: but she says this
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experience could not be more different. >> "the bachelor" is a tough situation to be in. "marriage at first sight" is entirely different. and i'm not saying ha it's necessarily better, but for me it's more realistic. >> reporter: doug and jamie would not reveal to us if things worked out. >> i want to be alone for a second. >> reporter: they want to you tune in to see what happens after they say i do. >> we're just taking it one day at a time and really trying to build a foundation. i know that sounds crazy to most people because we're already kind of like what most people build up to. but -- yeah. and it's working. >> this gives me an excuse to -- >> put your arm around me. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm bianna golodryga in new york. >> and if you're like me and have to find out, "married at first sight" airs on fyi network, which is partly owned by abc. it airs on tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. eastern. up next for us, we track down the painter whose copycat masterpieces sold for tens of millions. can you tell the difference
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>> nobody can tell the difference. >> reporter: most of the customers know they're getting fakes. and it's rare for anyone to be arrested. but our story tonight is about a series of fakes that sold for tens of millions of dollars to people who didn't know they were buying fakes. all created by an elderly chinese immigrant and part-time construction worker who once could be found here in times square doing drawings of tourists for about $10 each. but as we found in our abc news investigation, the artist is now a long way away from times square, and our efforts to unravel the mystery of this massive scheme took us from new york's elite art world to billionaire collectors in london to accused fake art dealers in spain all the way to china, the hiding place for the little-known artist who has turned the art world upside down with his masterful fakes. in this case the accused forger created look-alikes of some of america's most prominent artists including the late margaret
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rothko whose iconic blocks of color sell more millions of dollars. this real rothko sold for $56 million in may. a perfect time to turn out the fakes. here are images of a real rothko and a fake rothko created by the accused times square forger. the real one on the right sold for $3 million. the fake on the left actually sold for more. $8 million. >> i thought that looks like a pretty good rothko. and i'm an loan. i'd love to see the original forgery. >> art critic blake goff ni says a lot of so-called experts were taken in by the fakes. >> the greatest collectors of rothkos, the greatest connoisseurs of rothkos loved them when they first saw them until they found out they were forgeries. >> the times square copycat also targeted the works of jackson pollock, whose technique of drips and splashes of paint captivated the art world. >> figuring out that art could be made that way is what matters. but of course it opens him up to forgers big-time because forgers can splash paint too. >> reporter: here are images of a real jackson pollock and one created by the accused times
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square forger. the real one on the right sold for $58 million last year. the fake one on the left sold years ago for $2 million. according to court records, the fake art created by the chinese artist sold for a total of more than $80 million over the last decade. the fakes were first spotted by a billionaire collector in london, pierre lagrange, who was having his art appraised as he went through a divorce. an expert determined that the type of yellow paint in this fake jackson pollock, purchased for $17 million, was produced years after jackson pollock had died. >> if a picture's made with paint that didn't exist when the artist was alive, that's a pretty good sign it's probably a fake. >> lagrange bought his fake jackson pollock through the once prestigious nodler gallery in new york city, who he sued saying in his lawsuit the gallery knew or should have known it was selling a fake. he later settled with nodler. the gallery denies knowing it was a fake, saying it was
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fooled, too. nodler went out of business after 165 years, a day after the expert hired by lagrange reported the painting was a fake. >> real consequences in reputation of course have been ruined all along. that's why there's so much finger pointing back and forth. everyone's trying to put the blame on someone else so they don't look as foolish. >> reporter: and at the center of the scam, authorities say, is this new york woman. glacer oochlt risalis, a self-zriebtd art dealer who along with her boyfriend first approached the chinese artist and got him to begin churning out the fakes. she has pleaded guilty to federal fraud and tax charges and is now cooperating with the government. her boyfriend, named jose bergantino diaz was arrested in spain on the u.s. charges and remained free awaiting extradition to the united states. he has denied wrongdoing and has told local reporters he's not worried about the case. as for the artist, he disappeared from his home in queens, new york when news reports first surfaced about the
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massive forgery scheme. so we tracked him back to china, to a neighborhood on the outskirts of shanghai, and his small studio in this high-rise apartment. his name is pei shing kim. and he talks for the first time on television about the fakes and the investigation with meg suchma of abc news. >> translator: my intent wasn't for any fake paintings to be sold as the real thing. they were just copies to be put up in your home if you like it. >> reporter: kim was paid between $5,000 and $8,000 according to the indictment against him for paintings which later sold for millions of dollars. >> translator: if you look at my bank account, you'll see there was no income. i'm still a poor artist. do you think i could be involved with this? >> reporter: kim has admitted he forged the signatures of the painters he copied. yet he insisted to abc news he was stunned that so many people in the art world would be foobys fake rothkos and pollocks. >> translator: these copies were
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just supposed to mimic them on a basic level so i was very shocked people would mix them up. >> reporter: but mix them up they did. outside a recent '70s auction of abstract art we set up an easel with images of a fake rothko and a real one to see if those attending the auction could spot the forgery. >> definitely this one. >> i think the one on the left is the fake the one on the right is real. >> i'm saying the one on the right is the fake. >> i know rothkos pretty well. it's not easy. >> the real is on the right and the fake is on the left? >> people thought they were sublime masterworks. before they you why they were fakes people thought 2450ez were great works of sxart thart and them up in fancy museums. >> does it matter? >> i think it matters because it teaches us something important. we don't look at works of art for their beauty, what they teach us visually, we look at them as autographs, as price tags. >> reporter: as for kim, he's beyond the reach of the fbi and american law while staying in
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china, where he says he continues to paint now, it's his passion, but no longer producing any of those fakes. for "nightline" this is brian ross, abc news, new york. and it's real life for both fred and danica. ♪ when a man >> fred savage. >> he just got asked on twitter two seconds ago. >> yes. ♪ yeah, girl ♪ you know, i've been thinking about us ♪ ♪ and, uh, i just can't fight it anymore ♪ ♪ it's bundle time ♪ bundle ♪ mm, feel those savings, baby and that's how a home and auto bundle is made. better he learns it here than on the streets. the miracle of bundling -- now, that's progressive. you knowfine barbecue,merica? good times and zero heartburn.
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who knew a tv show all about coming of age could be such a lasting fan favorite. two decades after "the wonder years" went off the year, turns out the child stars of the show did a fabulous job coming of age in real life. abc's chris connelly caught up with the cast reuniting for the first time in 16 years. ♪ when a man loves a woman >> reporter: in 1988 "the wonder years'" first episode had this kiss between kevin arnold and winnie cooper, played by fred savage, 11, and 13-year-old danica mckellar. >> the one good thing about getting a first kiss on camera is you know for sure it's going to happen. >> we were both really scared and nervous and didn't know what was going to happen or if we were going to do it right. do you breathe in through your nose? do you hold your breath? >> reporter: now the cast of this set in the '60s dramedy, savage and mckellar, along with olivia dado and jason hervey, kevin's sister and bullying bro, adam mills and dan lawyeria as the patients and josh steviano
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who played kevin's best pal, have reunited for the first time in 16 years. "the wonder years'" cast members seemed to avoid the child star pitfall. >> that was our parents. our parents kept us really grounded. >> we all had a really strong work ethic, too. don't be a child of entitlement. >> reporter: dabo thrived as an action, herve as a producer. sal gano is now a lawyer. some think paul was played by a shock rocker. >> josh, how many times a week do you get asked if you're marilyn manson? >> thank you. thank you, somebody. >> he just got asked on twitter two seconds ago. >> many. and i really think it was the very first internet rumor. and because of that it doesn't die. >> reporter: fred savage would leave acting behind, get an english degree from stanford, and become a director of such tv series as "modern family" -- >> i'm kind of doing what i always wanted to do. from when i was a little kid. i'm very lucky. >> fred, you're one of the best actors i've ever worked with, for sure. and if you ever wanted to act again i think you should because you're awesome.
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♪ >> reporter: for a generation of boys, winnie cooper embodied the girl next door. if you happened to live in paradise. >> i just would tell people, look, it was slow motion. it was the music. it was the whole setup. it was the narration, like lifting me up on a pedestal. come on. i can't take a lot of credit for it. >> reporter: in college she would co-author a groundbreaking math theorem. she and savage still hear from fans a little irked by the show's ever-wistful finale. >> have a nice life. >> i got asked, why didn't kevin and winnie end up together? i would say at least three times a week. i'm heartbroken. you just watched the last episode. i'm like, you know, it's just a tv show. >> reporter: i'm chris connelly for "nightline" in los angeles. >> got to love that chris connelly. and got to love the show. and for super fans out there "the wonder years" dvd box set is now available for presale online. thank you for watching abc news. "world news now" is coming up soon with overnight breaking news.
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tune in to "good morning america" tomorrow for all the latest developments in the middle east. and as always, we are online at abcnews.com. good night, america. thanks for joining us. we'll see you right back here tomorrow night. every day more americans choose abc news. america's number one newsroom. [dramatic musical flourish] ♪ >> hey. what's up? what's up? what's up? what's going on? [cheering and applause] >> how you doing, cedric? >> good, good, good. come on out, man. [cheering and applause] yeah! hello, and welcome to millionaire.
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today's first contestant is a playboy magazine writer turned cattle farmer from fort mill, south carolina. talk about one extreme to the other. y'all show some love for farmer bill johnson. what's up? [cheering and applause] all right. come on now, farmer bill, let's just jump right into it. playboy magazine writer? >> it was when i was in high school, cedric. you know, you're 17 years old, you're not interested in, you know, the grapes of wrath. the girls got miniskirts. >> right. >> you want to use that creative thought. >> right, so you were... >> i sent 'em in to the magazine, to the address. my mother got the mail that day. she's a church deacon and a school principal. >> uh-oh. >> she didn't know whether to be ashamed on one hand or proud that i made money with my creative energy. >> right. so, oh, so--right. [laughter] your creative energy. i like it. so you got--you got the check. mama got to say okay, but then, later in life, she was like, "n

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